A man accused of raping a disabled Tarrant County woman in his care has been found guilty of aggravated sexual assault and sentenced to two life sentences.
Anthony Nyakeo, 53, was facing two counts of aggravated sexual assault after prosecutors said he raped a 74-year-old patient at the Woodridge Health & Rehabilitation center in Grapevine where he worked.
The sentencing phase of the trial began immediately after the verdict was read Wednesday afternoon and continued into Thursday where he was sentenced to two life sentences.
Nyakeo's lawyers said he plans to appeal the conviction.
Prosecutors said the offense happened in 2018 when Nyakeo was working as a certified nursing assistant.
"She [victm] couldn't talk. She couldn't feed herself. She mostly confined to her bed, she wore a diaper, and she relied on that staff at Woodridge to provide for her care. For the most part, they did except for one employee there," said prosecutor Darren De La Cruz.
The victim has since died from end-stage Alzheimer's disease. According to the state, she suffered dementia while she was living at Woodridge and was widowed.
During opening statements Tuesday, De La Cruz said there were three possible suspects at one point but DNA evidence tied Nyakeo to the crime.
The first witness to testify in this trial was Alyssa Osorio, a former charge nurse at the Woodridge nursing home.
Osorio testified the victim was unable to consent given her physical and mental state. Most actions by staff members required from a power of attorney, she said.
When she was notified by another employee that the victim was experiencing "vaginal bleeding", Osorio said she "immediately suspected sexual assault" once she found tearing.
"It's not something you see on this elderly woman," she testified in court. "It's not something that happens naturally."
Clay Graham, an attorney representing Nyakeo, pointed to other ways injuries described by Osorio could be sustained "naturally" such as a childbirth.
"Yes, but not for an elderly woman," she answered, adding she did not believe the victim ever gave birth naturally.
Nyakeo also took the stand in his own defense Tuesday, adamantly denying he ever sexually assaulted the patient. Instead, he spent part of his testimony explaining how he took care of her day-to-day.
Woodridge Health and Rehabilitation confirmed Nyakeo has been dismissed from his position. They released this statement Tuesday afternoon:
"At Woodridge Health and Rehabilitation at Grapevine, our first priority is the safety and privacy of our residents and their families. Due to HIPAA protections and an ongoing investigation, we can't comment extensively on this case. We have cooperated fully with state regulatory authorities, and with law enforcement throughout their investigation of this matter. It is always our desire to provide the best care and support of our residents and family members, and we request that you respect their privacy during this time. Thank you for your consideration."